Now that I have my Nikon D610, I was eager to try if it could be of any use for my trainspotting hobby.

Being used to a Panasonic HC – X900, with it’s small sensors, stabilisation and zoom lens, it was kind of a shock when trying the D610 with the 50mm f/1.8 AF-D.

Slow autofocus, fixed focal length, no image stabilisation, shallow depth of field, different form factor were just a few things I had to familiarize myself with.

So when I got the opportunity, I took my tripod, RØDE Videomic Stereo Pro (with windshield or deadkitten), D610 and the 50mm and shot some trains.

Here you can find my video:

What have I learned

I was glad I did not see moire, that I did experience on my first test shots and I learned some things that I have to take into consideration:
– A prime lens and tripod is a rigid combination, that makes framing somewhat difficult.
– f/1.8 is not the best setting for shots without the need of shallow depth of field.
– Panning is horrible (I did not record the actual pan as I tried it first, but I will upload an example) due to the rolling shutter.

I’m not sure about the shutterspeed, as it ‘should’ be half the framerate, so about 1/50s. Not shure what the actual difference is, but I will need a ND filter to test that.

What I did like
– Slow working pace makes me think about my shot.
– Nice look with blurred background (although these type of video’s don’t really make the best of that)

What I did not like
– 50mm is very limited. I like using tele and wide shots also.
– Setting up takes some time, that is not always an option when trainspotting.
– AF is horribly slow and useless when recording.

So next test will be with another shutterspeed and fstop!

The second video test with the Nikon D610 + 50mm AF-D was performed on 1/60s and at f/8 (otherwise it would get even more over exposed).

The 1/60s is chosen as it doubles my framerate of 30p, creating smooth motion. But now with f/8, my depth of field is much deeper, leaving the image smooth but with less filmic feel I’m after. (shallow depth of field).

The last two shots show the difference between both settings.

One more thing I learned, was that the DX mode gives less good quality. I’m not sure why, since it should (in theory) not reduce the quality. But it clearly does.

So next stop would be a ND filter, to be able to combine f/1.8 with 1/60s….

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